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#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Aroldis Chapman may lose closer role after latest blown save

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman’s status as New York Yankees closer is in serious danger after another blown save on Sunday.

Chapman has allowed runs in four of his last five appearances following Sunday’s loss to the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader. The lefty took the mound in the seventh inning with a 5-4 lead and gave up a leadoff home run to Pete Alonso. He proceeded to hit Michael Conforto with a pitch and walk Jeff McNeil, at which point he was removed from the game. Both runners later scored, meaning Chapman was charged with three earned runs and a loss without recording a single out.

After the game, manager Aaron Boone admitted that with an off day Monday, Chapman’s role will be evaluated.

“We’ll continue to talk through that,” Boone said when asked about Chapman’s status as closer. “Obviously we’ve got another important one right now, so that’ll be something that we’ll talk after these games with the off day tomorrow. We’ll have to talk through that.”

Boone also questioned Chapman’s decision to throw a 1-2 slider to Alonso after the Mets first baseman had just swung and missed at a fastball, stating that he didn’t “think that was the right spot for that.”

Chapman’s troubles started June 10, when he gave up a pair of two-run home runs in the 9th inning of a 7-5 loss to Minnesota. Since then, the 33-year-old has given up 14 earned runs in 5.2 innings, and his ERA has risen from 0.39 to 4.71.

The Yankees sit at .500, and those around the team aren’t hiding their frustration with what has been a poor season thus far. Chapman could be an easy scapegoat as his struggles continue, and Boone’s public admission makes a change seem likely.

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